Dissertation Structure Table Of Contents

Briefing About Table of Contents

It is an undeniable fact that your thesis, research proposal, or dissertation writing must be one of the most detailed writings you would have ever done. Considering the fact that, you fuel up your energy and invest all your hard work in these research dissertations. It would be nothing less than a nightmare if your supervisor is unable to find out a specific heading they are willing to go through. To save students from this nightmare and scrutiny, a table of content or TOC is the appropriate and suitable part of the document of the dissertation. The list of the table of contents is usually present on the initial page before the start of the dissertation or any other written work. The table of contents or TOC comprises of names of the chapter or titles of the sections or headings, or brief descriptions with the page numbers they are commencing on

As a reader, no one would want their work to look messed up and in an inappropriate order. By adding an organised list of Table of Content, the reader will immediately be able to distinguish that in what way your manuscript has been constructed or organized and would then skip down to chapters that would be most relevant or appealing to them. In case you are looking forward to constructing a good research paper, make sure to make a concise, clear, and well-formatted table of content part of your research paper, since, it is an initial pointer towards a good research paper. However, to save some time on your hand, it is advised to use the font and heading styles prior to making a table of contents as it makes it easier later.

Example of a Table of Contents

Following is an example for Table of Contents of a dissertation


What to Include In Your Table of Contents?

A good table of content is always one that comprises clear and concise headings. In context to a research proposal or dissertation, a table of content consists of main chapter headings that are usually a part of a research study.  The easiest way to include a nicely formatted table of content is to change all of the main headings to ‘Heading 1’ in a Word document. The sub-sections of all these headings would be turned into ‘Heading 2’. Lastly, an automated table of content is then constructed by the MS Word document. However, there is a certain procedure to apply a Table of Content or TOC in this way. You need to click on References from the first tab, followed by a table of contents, and then customized table of contents and by making sure that the sections of the Table of Contents are listed more than 3.

The following procedures can be understood even by the pictures provided in the appendices.

What not to Include?

A good table of content is indeed the one that contains all details of chapter headings and their subheadings. However, certain headings need to be kept in mind when designing a table of content. When writing a thesis or a dissertation, it is mandatory to follow the rules of academic writings. Out of which, one of the rules of academic writing is to refrain from adding abstracts and acknowledgments in the list of the table of contents. The most prominent reason for this is since the information or data that is added in these two headings are of fewer relevancies to the research topic. Therefore, to make things to the point and accessible for the reader it has been supervised that one should not include the heading of Abstract and the heading of Acknowledgment in their list of the table of contents.

Appendices and Tables

Checklist for Table of Contents

  • A good table of content is one that is nicely and appropriately formatted.
  • It comprises all main sections of the manuscript commencing with the dedication page. However, in cases where the dedication page is not utilised, it is suggested to start with an Abstract page.
  • The execution of a good table of content comprises lists with the titles of each of the chapters, in addition, all the main headings should be Heading Level 1.
  • All the titles and headings that are a part of the table of content should go exactly with what appear in the text.
  • Implementation of correct page numbers on all page numbers.

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